Global Material Flows Database

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“The International Resource Panel provides a comprehensive understanding of linkages between the world economy, population and material use for more than four decades based on an authoritative database of global materials extraction and materials trade. This large data set has been established to present direct and consumption-based material flow indicators for seven world regions and for more than 185 countries, covering total usage, per capita use, and material use per US dollar. It also provides details for different groups of materials. It provides strong support to informed decision-making by policy and business communities.” (


“This global database on material flows and resource productivity was produced as part of a collaborative effort by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Australia, the Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU Vienna), Austria, the Institute of Social Ecology Vienna (SEC), Austria, the University of Nagoya, Japan, and University of Sydney’s Integrated Sustainability Analysis (ISA), Australia, for the UN Environment International Resource Panel. The global database is based on international data sources, and the most recent methodologies for establishing material flow accounts. Please refer to the technical annex for a detailed description of data sources and methods used. Material flows and resource productivity indicators are among the most important indicators available for monitoring changes in the patterns and rates of resource use as economies grow. They are used for reporting progress towards SDG targets 8.4 ‘Resource Productivity’ and 12.2 ‘Sustainable Use of Natural Resources’.

The database is intended to help governments, policy researchers and all interested stakeholders to: develop a better understanding of how economic growth patterns influence resource use; evaluate the impacts of policies that have been adopted in the past; develop effective strategies to minimize future resource use through targeted sustainable consumption and production policies and actions. The database covers the period 1970-2017 and 150 countries and reports material extraction, trade, material footprints and material intensity. Note: as some of the underlying data sets used in the construction of the material flows accounts terminate as early as 2012, data from that year on will contain an increasing portion of projected data, such that by 2017 the data is entirely based on projection from earlier years. This point is important for those users intending to use this data to establish statistical relationships, i.e. the last year which should be used for regression analyses and similar is 2012.”

More information

If more disaggregated data for material extraction is required please send your request to the secretariat of the IRP [email protected]